Sky Sports Signs Four-Year Deal To Broadcast RaboDirect Pro12 Rugby From '14-15
Sky Sports "has signed a four-year deal to broadcast rugby matches from the RaboDirect Pro12," starting in the '14-15 season, according to WALES ONLINE. The deal, "which will be in addition to the current arrangements in place with local broadcasters such as BBC Wales and S4C," will signal a boost of around 50% on existing TV revenues. Under the terms of the new deal, "Sky will show 30 live matches, plus the semi-finals and the final, with the latter being broadcast alongside regional broadcasters" (WALES ONLINE, 5/2). In London, Gavin Mairs wrote the RaboDirect Pro12 league announced a "lucrative" new TV deal with Sky Sports. It is expected that "under a new four-year deal with the satellite broadcaster," which will begin for the '14-15 season, 30 games a season will be shown on Saturdays. It will mark an increase of more than 50% on existing TV revenues, "which are shared between the Welsh, Scottish and Irish Unions." The Pro12 currently has agreements with regional broadcasters BBC ALBA, BBC Northern Ireland, RTE, TG4, BBC Wales and S4C, "but it is thought that the new Sky deal will be an addition to those contracts and not replace them." The deal "will not only ensure that the tournament is broadcast nationwide for the first time," but also result in 125 of the 135 games being televised live. Sky Sports will also gain the rights to broadcast the semifinals and finals live, "in conjunction with the territorial broadcaster where those games take place" (TELEGRAPH, 5/1).